Sunday, March 31, 2013

So Shines the Night - A Review

Daria is a scholar who is gifted in languages. When she attempts to save a child from a sect of sorcerers in Rhodes, she suddenly finds herself fleeing for her life. Merchantman Lucas offers her a passage to Ephesus in exchange for teaching him the Persian language. Once in Ephesus, the shadow of the ancient wonder - the Temple of Artemis, casts its beauty on the city and Daria. Yet she soon finds that the same evil she fled from has found her amidst the Temple's beauty. Daria is offered refuge among the followers of the Way, a religious sect that began in Jerusalem and is spreading like wildfire to all parts of the known world. These followers offer a Hope that Daria never knew before. Will she succumb to the evil of the gods she grew up with or answer the calling of those followers of the Way?

This is the first book I've read by Tracy Higley and it won't be my last. I did find that the story started off a little slow, but it moved very very quickly once I hit about chapter 3. I loved the way that the Christians of the early church were so willing to give their  lives for their Savior. I don't run across that attitude much with today's church. Anyway, seeing the power of darkness be overcome by those who followed the Way was pretty awesome.

I received the kindle version of the book for free from Thomas Nelson's booksneeze program for the purpose of reviewing, though I also bought a copy. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Francine Rivers, Mesu Andrews, and those who enjoy Biblical Fiction.

Rating - 4 stars

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sisters of Mercy Flats - A Review

Abigail McDougal and her sisters are beautiful thieves. Yet at some point, even the best of thieves get caught. On their way to jail, a Comanche raiding party attacks their wagon. Three different men come to their rescue, and each departs with one of the sisters. Hershell Digman, shoe salesman, is on his way to Shreveport when he rescues Abigail from the Indians. He's hiding something as well. Could he be a spy? As the pair continue to Shreveport with vital information for the Confederate Army, they fight an attraction to each other. Will they make it in time? And will they both admit how they feel?

It's been a while since I picked up a Lori Copeland book. Light-hearted, this book kept me entertained from the first page through the last. This book is Abigail's story. I'm hoping that there will also be books about her sisters as well. Both Abigail and Hershell have issues in their lives to resolve before they can move on. While they aren't as developed as some of the other characters in the author's other books, they were believable.

I received the Kindle version of the book for free from Harvest House Publishers via Netgalley for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

 Recommended to fans of Christian fiction, Lori Copeland, Love Inspired Historicals

Due out in June, 2013

Rating - 3 stars - because I really felt blah about the book.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Girl in the Glass Giveaway Winner

Using, the winner of Girl in the Glass was . . .


I have emailed the winner. She has until Sunday March 31st at 7pm CST to contact me with her information or I will pick a new winner.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Giveaway - Girl in the Glass

Happy March!

It's time for another giveaway.

This month, I will give away my paperback copy of The Girl in the Glass by Susan Meissner.

I really enjoyed this book when I read it. You can find my review here.
To enter...

1. Leave a blog post comment telling me your dream vacation.

2. Leave a comment telling me you follow my blog and how.

3. Gain an additional entry for each comment on any of my book reviews from 2012 or 2013 you leave. You can find them on the left side bar under the labels "book reviews.

3. Gain 2 additional entries for each hand cream ($12 each, including tax and shipping) you purchase to help with Anna's surgery. Details of the fundraiser here. Leave me a comment or send me an email directly tell me how many you want. dawn(dot)janis(at)gmail(dot)com .

The giveaway will end on Sunday March 24th at 8:00 am CST.  The winner will have 1 week to respond to my email once I've announced the winner.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

His Jilted Bride - A Review

Elijah Banks can't stand to see his childhood friend, Lady Amelia Brice, marry a man that she doesn't love. Not when he's in love with her and can offer her marriage to save her reputation. Lady Amelia Brice doesn't love the man she's supposed to marry. Her heart belongs to the friend she's loved since they were children. But what can a girl do when she must marry to avoid a scandal? Especially when the groom-to-be appears to have left her at the alter. To avoid an even bigger scandal, she agrees to marry Elijah. There's just one problem to their future happily ever after - she's hiding a secret. So is he, and his is bigger. Can these two find their way to happily ever after?

This is the third book in the Banks Brothers Series, and while I've not yet read the first two, I did enjoy this one. It helped that I have read all of the books in the Scandalous Sisters Series and the Groom Series where some of these characters are first introduced. Yes it is a secular romance book. Yes it does have all of the elements of a secular romance book. The story itself is well developed. The author writes her characters to have quirks and still be loveable. I plan on reading the first two books in this series soon. I also look forward to reading the fourth book, His Brother's Bride, which will be about Elijah's twin Henry, once it comes out.

I received the Smashwords-Kindle version of the book for free from the author for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

I recommend reading the books in the Scandalous Sisters Series and the Groom Series before picking up this book as it will help in understanding of the characters.

Recommended to fans of Historical romance, secular romance, Historical fiction, Harlequin Historicals.

For my readers who only read Christian fiction, this is not a book for you. This book contains things that are not found in Christian fiction and I don't want you to be shocked or offended by it.

Rating - 4 stars

I love reading your comments. Feel free to post a comment.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dandelions on the Wind - A Review

Maren Jensen never expected to find a place to call home when she took the job on Elsa Brantenberg's farm. The young Danish immigrant has fallen completely in love with the elderly widow and her young granddaughter. When Mrs. Brantenberg's son-in-law comes home after the Civil War, Maren's heart is in jeopardy. Rutherford Wainwright has survived two wars and comes home to the daughter he never took time to know. He didn't expect to find a young woman living on the farm caring for his family. Can the two find a way past the hurts of their pasts into a bright future together?

The first of three novellas set in the years immediately after the Civil War, Dandelions on the Wind introduces the reader to a community where the women of the quilting circle have big hearts and strong faith. I enjoyed this quick read. I think I started it at lunch on one day and finished it at lunch the next. My only complaint is that I wanted more story! But I know novellas are just short novels. Still it was a delightfully quick read.

I received this book for free from Waterbrook/Multnomah's Blogging for Books program for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Mona Hodgson's Sinclair Sisters series, Colleen Coble, Melody Carlson, and fans of short fiction.

Rating - 4 stars

Monday, March 11, 2013

Though My Heart Is Torn - A Review

Gideon and Lonnie O'Reilly are happy with their young son after a rocky start to their marriage. When word from home draws them back to the hollow they left, they are not prepared for the shock that is about to change their lives. Gideon has another wife. As they must now navigate this uncertain future, each must learn to trust God in a different way.

This is book 2 in the Cadence of Grace series and I highly recommend reading the first book, Be Still My Soul, first. I was so excited to return to the story of Gideon and Lonnie. Both of these two grow even more than they did in the first book. And my heart broke for them. I really wanted to dislike Cassie, but I found I couldn't. The characters are very real and I ached for them.

I received an advance readers copy of this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah's blogging for books program for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Julie Lessman, Laurie Alice Eakes, and historical fiction fans.

Rating - 5 stars

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Moonlight Masquerade - A Review

Lady Celine Wexham was born French but married a wealthy English earl. Now a widow, the French beauty is hiding something. Something that the British government is determined to find out. Rees Phillips is given the assignment to pose as her butler and determine if she is a spy for France. As he spends more and more time in the lovely widow's company, he's convinced that she is in fact a French spy. As his heart becomes entangled, he finds he must choose between his country and the woman he's fallen in love with. Does their love have a chance? Or will it all be part of the old saying "all's fair in love and war?"

This is the first book I've read by Ruth Axtell, and while it started off terribly slow, it did pick up and I was able to enjoy it. It's set in the years of Napoleon, 1813-1814, which is basically between the French Revolutions. I have to say that I loved the kindness Lady Wexham showed to her servants. She treated them more as equals than master to servant. I also loved how Rees thought he was such a great spy only to have been found out early into his game and did not have his cover blown. Yes the book moved slow. Rather tediously slow in spots. But I found that when I put it down and came back to it several hours (or days) later, I was soon lost in the story's intrigue.

I received this book for free from Revell Books for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Jane Austen, Downtown Abbey, Julie Klassen, Regency Romance

Available March 2013 at your local bookstore from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Rating - 4 stars

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Casual Vacancy - A Review

When Barry Fairbrother dies suddenly, the small town of Pagford is in shock. His death leaves an open position on the town's council. As different people vie for the position, long held secrets are brought to light and the peaceful town of Pagford isn't nearly as peaceful as it seems.

I am fully aware that this is not Harry Potter. I understand that this book is targeted at adults. If Rowling's intention was to write something completely different than Harry Potter, then she accomplished that goal. Knowing to expect something totally different than Harry Potter, I was still shocked at the extreme direction this book took. I've read books by other authors who have written a popular children's/young adult series and then wrote an adult book. In those books, I was still able to get a feel for the author's voice. Not so with Casual Vacancy. It really felt like it was someone completely different writing the book. Language was terrible. I've read adult books with language in them in the past, and I typically ignore it. In this case, it was almost every other sentence (and in some cases words) that was a curse word. I felt like I needed a list of characters to keep them all straight. There wasn't one particular character that I was attached to. Authority is completely disrespected. There is abundant drug use, sex, hints of abuse and neglect, suicidal tendencies in addition to the coarse language. There were some chapters that after reading, I wanted to go take a shower because I felt dirty. Will I still read books that Rowling writes? Most likely as I love Harry Potter.

My personal opinion is that Rowling needs to continue to write children's/young adult books and not to attempt a book that doesn't even sound like she wrote it!

I rented this book from the library. It's only costing me the twenty cents that is the late fee for not returning it on time. I attempted to read this book for pure pleasure, but instead struggled through it.

My thoughts and opinions are my own. Disclaimer - I did not set out to write a scathing review, though I realize that it may sound like one.

Recommended to - I really cannot recommend this to anyone.

Rating - 1.5 stars, which will be a 2 star rating on Amazon as my criteria for a 1 star book is that it puts me to sleep.